Depression, Parenting Practices, and the Healthy Development of Children

Type: Consensus Study
Topics: Children and Families, Health Services, Coverage, and Access, Public Health, Select Populations and Health Equity, Substance Use and Mental Health, Women's Health
Board: Board on Children, Youth, and Families

Activity Description

 An ad hoc committee organized a consensus study to review the relevant research literature on the identification, prevention, and treatment of parental depression, its interaction with parenting practices, and its effects on children and families with a special focus on:

(1) clarifying what is known about interactions among depression and its co-occurring conditions, parenting practices, and child health and development,

(2) identifying the findings, strengths, and limitations of the evidentiary base that support assessment, treatment and prevention interventions for depressed parents and their children,

(3) highlighting disparities in the prevalence, prevention, treatment, and outcomes of parental depression among different socio-demographic populations (e.g., race/ethnicity, socioeconomic status),

(4) examining strategies for widespread implementation of best practice and promising practice programs given the large numbers of depressed parents, and

(5) identify strategies that can foster the use of effective interventions in different service settings for diverse populations of children and families.

The committee gave particular attention to both opportunities for intervention as well as barriers to implementation, including public policy strategies, structure of clinical systems, and funding mechanisms that will maximize the likelihood of large-scale implementation of effective programs. The committee also considered key issues that need to be resolved in incorporating interventions into health and social service environments that serve children and families.

The project was sponsored by The California Endowment, The Annie E. Casey Foundation, The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the HHS Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, and the Maternal and Child Health Bureau of the HHS Health Resources and Services Administration.

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